Nuance of the Nug: Understanding Head High vs. Body High


Many experienced cannabis users may know that the type of high you experience has a lot to do with the strains you choose. One smoke sesh can result in a boost in energy and creativity, while another can leave you chained to the couch for hours. But what’s the main difference between a head high vs. body high? And how can understanding the different types of high help you zero in on what works?

How We Get High in the First Place

You probably already know that the high you get from marijuana comes from a chemical called Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. Some strains contain more or less THC, making them more or less potent.

Most of THC’s effects happen in the brain as the chemical interacts with the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, according to NIH. In fact, our bodies actually make chemicals very similar to THC, which are used in normal brain function and development, which act as natural pathways to produce most of its effects.

Head High vs. Body High: The Nuance of the Nug

Head High vs. Body High

What is the difference between a head high and a body high? Let’s back up. The two major classes of weed are indicas and sativas, which are usually on opposite ends of the high experience. Indicas are said to provide more of a sedating body high thanks to their higher THC content, while sativas stimulate the mind more than the body due to their increased levels of CBD.

Body High

The truth is, any strain can produce somewhat of a body high, thanks to levels of THC. However, strong effects in the body is generally associated with a strong indica dominant strain and include physical sensations such as lethargy, clumsiness, tingling, heightened physical sensitivity and heightened sexual awareness.

One of the most commonly described body feeling you may get from indicas is often described as a buzzing sensation experienced throughout the body, commonly called a “couch lock” effect. Meaning if you smoke a strong indica strain, you’ll most likely be doing a lot of relaxing.

The sedative effect commonly felt from indicas are due to their higher concentrations of THC and because indica produces a deep relaxation, they usually are a good match for medical marijuana patients who suffer from chronic pain, muscle spasms, migraines, insomnia and a host of other conditions.

Head High

Again, because THC in itself is a psychoactive compound, every strain is capable of resulting in a head high. Yet, sativa strains are typically known to induce more of a head high. This may be due to the fact that sativa strains most often offer a higher CBD content, which produces highly-stimulating effects that result in alertness and optimism.

Sativa is known to produce subtle cerebral effects, often described as euphoric and uplifting, with an energetic tone attached. Many users will find that they will be able to focus longer and lock in more intently, making it a common choice for daytime use. Some users even credit sativas for boosting creativity and inspiration.

While indicas may be better for treating physical ailments such as chronic pain and migraines, some studies show that mind highs may work better for those who suffer from mental conditions such as anxiety, depression and ADD, thanks to its ability to increase focus and stimulate creativity. With all the different types of high out there, you should be able to figure out exactly what you need.

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